A liquid diet is a clear winner when it comes to quick weight loss. All you need to do is consume food in the liquid form. It is often prescribed by doctors to patients with digestive problems and those recovering from injuries or about to undergo surgery. But do not follow it beyond a day for weight loss, unless your dietitian says otherwise. While it is not effective as a long-term weight loss plan, one day on a liquid diet can help detox your system and kick-start weight loss. This article discusses various liquid diets, benefits, dangers, and safe liquid diet charts. Swipe up!
What Is A Liquid Diet?
Liquid diets are low-cal foods in the liquid form. You can either choose to replace one or two meals of your day with liquid foods or go on a total liquid diet. This means, you will consume calories in the liquid form. You can juice fruits and veggies, make smoothies, or have soup. There are mainly three types of liquid diet. Let’s talk about them briefly in the next section.
Types Of Liquid Diet
Following a liquid diet can be tough for beginners. And if you are not comfortable going on a complete liquid diet, you have another option. Let’s find out about the types of liquid diets. Make sure you talk to your doctor/dietitian before trying these.
1. Detox/Cleansing Liquid Diet
Detox or cleansing liquid diets have gained popularity in the recent past. They help detoxify your body, and you can see results when you go on a detox liquid diet once a week for a month. You will only drink vegetable/fruit juices with herbs for a day. It will not only be a new experience but also refreshing for your body. A few examples of detox/cleansing liquid diets are water fasting and Master Cleanse.
2. Meal Replacement Liquid Diet
The meal replacement diet is about replacing one or two meals with juices. You can have other solid foods in this plan. But yes, those foods should be healthy and nutritious. The shakes or juices that you have instead of breakfast or lunch are usually low in calories and should contain all the macros (protein, carb, and fat) and most micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc.)
3. Medical Liquid Diet
This diet is not for weight loss. You need special attention and monitoring by a doctor. This liquid diet is prescribed by a doctor to prep a patient for surgery in the near future or help him/her recover from an injury or ease digestion issues. The medically prescribed liquid diets require the patients to be on a clear liquid diet. They can only drink water, broth, apple juice, popsicle, syrup, and teas.
Takeaway Point: If you are comfortable, you can go on a detox diet for a day. But for weight loss, it is best to go on a meal replacement diet, where you will get the benefits of solid food as well as liquid juices/broths. Stay away from the medically prescribed liquid diet – it’s not for weight loss.
Now, the question is, how do these liquid diets aid weight loss? Let’s find out!
How Do Liquid Diets Aid Weight Loss?
Liquid diets are the go-to diets for many dieters. And that’s because they help them save time, improve metabolic rate, detoxify their body, and support the digestive system. And this results in weight loss and better overall health. Listed below are the ways liquid diets aid weight loss.
- Aid Detoxification
Liquid diets are an excellent way to detoxify your body. The juices/broths/smoothies are rich in vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. And these have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help scavenge the harmful free oxygen radicals that can potentially mutate your DNA, leading to harmful/dysfunctional protein synthesis. Also, the water content and dietary fiber help cleanse the digestive tract. Both these actions are directly and indirectly related to weight loss.
- Low In Calories
As mentioned before, juices/smoothies/broths are low in calories. And when you consume fewer calories, your body will start using up the stored glycogen or fat as the source of fuel. This, in turn, will lead to weight loss.
The main reason you gain flab is due to lack of enough nutrition from foods. The washing, cooking, and peeling techniques used can halve the nutrition value of foods. When you consume a food in the juice/smoothie form, most of its nutrition is intact. As a result, your metabolic rate will go up and help you use up the calories in the form of usable energy. But make sure to drink the juice/smoothie immediately if you are using a centrifugal blender.
- Easy On The Digestive System
Juices/smoothies/broths are easy on your digestive system. This, in turn, aids good digestion, absorption, and excretion. Moreover, the dietary fiber in the liquid diet keeps you full for a long duration and prevents constipation.
Very convenient, in fact. No need to wait for the pan to heat up, scroll through recipes online, and rack your brains to think of different tasty recipes. Just toss all the ingredients into a NutriBullet or blender, and your breakfast/lunch/dinner is ready! This is a plus point as we tend to skip a meal or order unhealthy foods if cooking is a time-consuming, tedious process. And starving or eating unhealthy has one result – weight gain.
Let’s now take a look at diet charts that will help you decide which type of liquid diet is best and convenient for you.
Detox Liquid Diet Chart
|Meals||What To Drink|
|Early Morning (6:00 a.m.)||1 cup water with juice of half a lime|
|Breakfast (7:00 a.m.)||Orange, pomegranate, melon seed powder, and mint smoothie|
|Mid Morning (10:00 a.m.)||Apple juice|
|Lunch (12:30 p.m.)||Cucumber soup + 1 cup chicken broth|
|Post-lunch (3:30 p.m.)||Buttermilk or tea|
|Dinner (7:00 p.m.)||Blended squash or mushroom soup|
Tip: Drink flavored water to keep your hunger at bay.
If that creeped you out, here’s a more friendly meal replacement liquid diet chart.
Meal Replacement Liquid Diet Chart
|Meals||What To Drink|
|Early Morning (6:00 a.m.)||1 cup water with juice of half a lime|
|Breakfast (7:00 a.m.)||Blueberry, oatmeal, dates, 2 almonds, and milk smoothie|
|Mid Morning (10:00 a.m.)||1 boiled egg + 1 cup green tea|
|Lunch (12:30 p.m.)||Mushroom or lentil soup|
|Post-lunch (3:30 p.m.)||Tea/buttermilk/coconut water + 10 in-shell pistachios|
|Dinner (7:00 p.m.)||Vegetable broth with grilled fish/chicken/tofu + 1 cup warm|
Seems doable, right? Yes, it is low in calories and can be difficult in the beginning. But it’s just one day, and you can do it.
Tip: Do not do vigorous exercises on this day. Do light stretching, go for a slow-paced walk, or meditate.
If you are thinking that these are the only foods you are allowed to eat, you’re wrong. Check out the list of foods that you can consume while on a liquid diet.
Foods To Eat
- Fruits and veggies
- Soy/almond/full-fat milk
- Yogurt and low-cal frozen yogurt
- Raw or scrambled eggs
- Cold-pressed juices
- Sports drinks
- Ice cream
- Flavored water
- Creamed soup
- Lean protein like fish, chicken, lentils, beans, tofu, mushroom, and soy
So, you see, you have a lot of options. If you are on a detox diet, avoid all types of food in the solid form. Juice them or make a smoothie and consume it. And for those who want to opt for meal replacement, you can include solid foods, but ensure you have at least two liquid meals. If you do this once (or twice) a week for four weeks, you will reap the following benefits.
Benefits Of Liquid Diet
- Helps in detoxification.
- Gives the digestive system the required rest.
- Improves metabolic rate.
- Improves skin quality.
- Helpful for those suffering from a painful wisdom tooth.
- Useful for those with cancer of the mouth, esophagus, or gums.
- Reduces stomach ulcer pain.
- Very useful for those who have undergone surgery of the tonsils or stomach.
Like any extreme diet, a liquid diet can also be dangerous if you do it continuously for days. Take a look at its possible side effects.
Dangers Of Liquid Diet
Here are the dangers of being on a liquid diet continuously for too long:
- Your immunity will become weak.
- You will feel light headed and dizzy.
- Cravings for food may increase, leading to overeating.
- Can lead to muscle loss and weaken your bones.
- Might prevent proper brain functioning.
- Might lead to mood swings and irrational thoughts.
- Makes you prone to cough and cold.
- Causes nausea.
Who Should Avoid Liquid Diet?
Though the liquid diet is good for weight loss, it should be avoided by:
- Pregnant and lactating women
- Older adults (unless the doctor recommended)
To conclude, be on a liquid diet responsibly. Weight loss is a tough process, and depending on your body type, it will take anywhere from a few days to a few years. Going into a panic mode and being on a liquid diet continuously will cause you harm. Also, keep your doctor or dietitian involved in your new plan to lose weight because risking your health and immunity is not worth any amount of quick weight loss. So, stay safe and be happy. Cheers!
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